Plants That Live in the Mediterranean Climate

The Mediterranean sea is celebrated for its remarkable color and for the weather which accompanies the surrounding region: warm with a delicious sea breeze. Parts of California, Chile, Australia and South Africa share the Mediterranean climate and are good locations for growing plants native to the Mediterranean region.


Native to Italy and the western side of the Mediterranean coast, thyme (Thymus vulgaris) is a small, fragrant plant whose flavorful gray-green leaves are used as a seasoning all over the world. In the summer, the plant produces dense clusters of tiny delicate blooms that add to the plant's ornamental value. Thyme is a popular garden plant, perfect for gardens with neutral or alkaline soil. Thyme will grow in full sunlight as well as partial shade.

Butterfly Blue

Butterfly blue (Scabiosa columbaria) is a small flowering perennial native to the Mediterranean, western Asia and north Africa. Named for its ability to draw butterflies into the yard, butterfly blue is a popular, low-growing ornamental that boasts fluffy pale lavender flower heads and wispy green foliage. Butterfly blue should be grown in full sunlight, in well-drained neutral or mildly alkaline soil. Adding lime to the soil will often be beneficial to this sun-loving plant.

Small-Flowered Tamarisk

Small-flowered tamarisk (Tamarix parviflora) is a deciduous shrub that boasts purple-tinged bark with tiny, bright green leaves. In the summer, the shrub produces clusters of tiny pinkish blooms that last for several weeks. The plant can be found growing in the wild along Mediterranean shores and in salty soils. Small-flowered tamarisk thrives in poor, dry soils, preferring well-drained and infertile soil. The shrub will do best in full sunlight.

Keywords: Mediterranean climate, Mediterranean plants, Mediterranean plant species

About this Author

Michelle Wishhart is a writer based out of Astoria, Ore. She has been writing professionally for five years, starting with her position as a staff arts writer for an alternative weekly paper in Santa Cruz. She has a B.A. in fine arts from the University of California in Santa Cruz and a minor in English literature.